Michael Dean Damron & Thee Loyal Bastards | Bad Days Ahead

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Michael Dean Damron's website at In Music We Trust Records Michael Dean Damron's official website Micahel Dean Damron's MySpace page

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United States - Oregon

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Country: Alt-Country Country: Americana Moods: Mood: Angry
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Bad Days Ahead

by Michael Dean Damron & Thee Loyal Bastards

With songs that tip their hats at his heroes (Steve Earle, Alejandro Escovedo, Townes Van Zant and Waylon Jennings, for example), Bad Days Ahead is an avalanche of brash truths and dark stories set to his own Americana landscape.
Genre: Country: Alt-Country
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Love the Rain
4:15 album only
2. By the Time I Get to Heaven
3:46 album only
3. Bad Days Ahead
3:28 album only
4. Swear to God
3:54 album only
5. Hallelujah
4:01 album only
6. Ghost
5:09 album only
7. Moonshine
5:29 album only
8. Andy Gibb
3:01 album only
9. Best I've Felt in Years
4:01 album only
10. Hotter Hell
2:15 album only
11. Baseball Season Ends Early
4:27 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The truth can be a downright ugly and thankless business, but one that Michael Dean Damron takes great pride in conducting. As the frontman for I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House, he spent the first half of this decade cutting his teeth on the finer points of delivering sermon-like epithets and exposing his own personal demons that has resulted not only in an impressive body of work but the art of truth telling, for better or worse. After 4 albums (three studio and one live), half of one in the can and a plethora of tours, Mike up and pulled the plug on Sonofabitch.

Somewhere in between, however, he provided us with a glimpse of what to expect after the dust settled. In 2005 he released a solo album, Perfect Day For A Funeral that gave some indication that he may have needed some breathing room. Now his restlessness is to come to a boil with Bad Days Ahead, his first post-SOB release with his new backing band, Thee Loyal Bastards.

Thee Loyal Bastards include Allen Hunter (Eels) on bass, Sam Henry (The Wipers) on drums and Morgan Geer on guitar, as well as Kelly Gately (Fireballs of Freedom) on guitar and Kristen Holovnia on cello.

In a market so over-saturated with singer/songwriters pressing to pimp their wares with watered-down musings, where mediocrity is often congratulated with heavily moved units and radio play, ?and whose climate doesn’t take too kindly to those who stand up barrel-chested in defiance to such, Damron has his work cut out for him. With songs that tip their hats at his heroes (Steve Earle, Alejandro Escovedo, Townes Van Zant and Waylon Jennings, for example), Bad Days Ahead is an avalanche of brash truths and dark stories set to his own Americana landscape. Like many of his songs prior, he has a penchant for targeting his subject with sniper scope eyes. The target most commonly aimed at on Bad Days is Damron himself. "I’ll show you, baby, how bad I can hurt myself", he snarls on I Swear To God, a bruising number about his divorce. It seems Damron has picked enough bones to open his own graveyard and Bad Days Ahead is a well honed viewing of the bodies he has buried.



to write a review

John Andrieu

Top Songwriter
Mike comes up with another great set of tunes. Lyrically interesting (and dark) as usual and musically this guy is just a great tunesmith. Would of given 5 stars but the sound quality of the recording is lacking. I have all his cd's and they never disappoint. They only keep getting stronger.

Bryan Smith

more great stuff
I've been waiting for this since Mike D announced it was on the way last year. I haven't seen him since the final time I Can Lick Any SOB played at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown, WV. This music stands true; it is just as great as his first solo CD. Buy it now!


Michael Dean Damron likes rock, country and blues. So what’s a guy to do? Throw all of those influences together of course and see where you end up. During the first half of “Bad Days Ahead”, that’s definitely on the blues-rock side of things and Damron came back with a couple of scorching tracks like opener “I Love The Rain”. Gritty, honest and raw are three words that come to mind.

The second half is a more mellow affair. Hell, there’s even room for some vocal harmonies on “Hallelujah” which Damron sings with Heidi Hellbender that do wonders for the song. And I’ll be damned if “Baseball Season Ends Early” wouldn’t have fitted right in on any Drive-By Truckers album.

He’s not quite up there yet along with the other big guys but his debut with Thee Loyal Bastards is an impressive calling card nonetheless.
Score: 7 out of 10


blues-rock side of things and Damron came back with a couple of scorching tracks like opener “I Love The Rain”. Gritty, honest and raw are three words that come to mind.

As a dedicated fan of music (a/k/a music geek), I go through periods of time where I get incredibly jaded and disappointed with all that is going on in the music industry. I suppose anyone that regards music as something other than background music to semi-rhythmic toe-tapping has probably gone through these periods.

When I was younger, I wasn't so discriminating and if it fell under the heavy metal umbrella, I was willing to give it a shot. As I got older, my tastes expanded and changed. It's become almost like a junkie chasing that initial high sometimes. Now that most heavy metal is sounds like Cookie Monster singing over detuned guitars and who knows what the hell happened to punk, finding new music that connects with my soul has gotten to be rather difficult.

Several years ago, I happened upon a band's name that snagged my attention instantly--I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House. I figured that with a name like that, they just had to be good. I checked out a sound clip for the song Gone and it thoroughly kicked my ass. On the spot, I ordered all of their then-available discs. When they arrived, it confirmed my original theory that they were not only good, but they were great.

Long story short, I finally got to see the SOBs open for Lucero in Nashville back in 2006 and not only did they deliver one fine rock and roll show, but they were damn cool gents on top of it all. SOB main man, Mike D, released a rather stunning solo album, A Perfect Day For A Funeral, and a live SOB disc before the band broke up. As a devoted fan of the band, I took that break-up pretty hard. It was on par with the news that the Ramones were calling it quits for me.

When word arrived in my e-mailbox that Mike D had a new album on the way with a new band, Thee Loyal Bastards, I was well aware of the track record and how much I loved his previous works and for some reason, that made me apprehensive about the new one. I should have know that the man would rise to the occasion and fly well over my already tall expectations. He did.

I pre-ordered Bad Days Ahead literally about two minutes after I knew that it would be available in the United States from the ultra-excellent source for music and speedy delivery, CD Baby. Good fortune shined down on me for once and the disc arrived on my birthday. Anxious fingers didn't make the struggle with the shrink-wrap any easier. CD shrink-wrap has certainly earned its place in the Your Packaging Sucks!! hall of fame.

Once liberated from the plastic-wrapped prison, the disc found its way to the player quickly. As each song played, I once again found that elusive musical high. I listened to it twice last night and it's been playing constantly today. It had been a while since I've wanted to replay an album over and over after the initial spin. Like the rest of Mike's work, I'm finding this album to be extremely addictive and in my mind, it's already a strong contender for the best of 2008.


Friday's PickSong: "Hallelujah"
Artist: Michael Dean Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards
CD: Bad Days Ahead
Genre: Roots-Rock
NPR.org, March 21, 2008 - Michael Dean Damron used to lead the booze-drenched, appropriately named roots-rock band I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House. Time hasn't mellowed the guy or improved his worldview, but on Bad Days Ahead — his first album under the moniker Michael Dean Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards — he's learned that righteous indignation can be even more affecting when it's delivered with a whisper instead of a scream.

"Hallelujah" opens with the crack of a snare drum, conjuring images of a military funeral march. Essentially, that's what the track is: a chilling condemnation of a war and its aftermath, aimed directly at the provocateur and delivered with pitch-perfect dynamics that alternate between dispassionate contempt and heart-wrenching, agonizing fury. Damron's gruff voice becomes a bone-chilling howl during the choruses, in the process proving — particularly when combined with Heidi Hellbender's apocalyptic backing vocals — that the guys in the white hats can be scary, too.


It's no secret that I am a big fan of Mike D. From the first time I heard I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House, the man's music totally clicked with me and I was hooked. The first solo album, A Perfect Day For A Funeral, was a little more mellow than the SOBs, but no less intense and equally as great.

This brings us to Bad Days Ahead, the first album with Thee Loyal Bastards. Considering how much I loved the past works, I wondered if the new one would have the same impact. The short answer to that question is "Yes." The more accurate answer would be an "OH HELL YES!" with extra gusto.

To say that I love this album would be a vast understatement. Even though it is only February, I am ready to nominate this one for the best of '08. It is that good.

Hopefully the world will come to its senses, turn off American Idol and realize that there are still real musicians making real music out there. I can hope that when this happens, they buy this album and acknowledge the fact that Michael Dean Damron is an amazing songwriter and musician.


I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch is long gone and Mike D has gone on to bigger and better things with his new records. I’ll always have a space in my heart for the wailing blues and slashing guitar of the old material but his new album Bad Days Ahead is just as good. There’s still gallons of blood and bile in his voice and songs. This isn’t “feel good” music, it’s “feel something when you’ve been numb for days” music. I hope Mike’s doing well wherever he is.